9 Multifamily Industry Trends in 2019

In an increasingly competitive field, with disruptors like Airbnb in the periphery, it’s important to know the trends to watch in multifamily housing. Here’s a look at the top nine expected to make a major impact soon.
January 17, 2019
News

1. An explosion in short-term rentals

As “migrant dwellers” affect the way we live, work and travel, companies like Pillow and ApartmentJet provide attractive options for renters and operators, respectively, to open homes in multifamily buildings for short-term rentals.

 

2. AI for research and coaching

Panelists at NMHC OPTECH 2018 discussed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mine data about prospect behavior, which can analyze massive quantities of social media for opinions. It can also track multichannel attribution, measuring lead-to-lease conversion paths, and even parse recorded conversations to provide coaching opportunities to salespeople based on the analysis of their phone calls.

 

3. BI for crunching numbers

Business Intelligence (BI) platforms assemble and analyze data, giving managers information to help identify opportunities to increase revenue and decrease expenses. By identifying the days and times in which most phone traffic comes from prospective renters, for example, managers can staff their sales team hours accordingly.

 

4. Flexible, customizable CRM

It’s essential that your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is customizable and can partner with third-party apps, so it can accommodate changes in communication standards and preferences. Deliver experiences and campaigns consistent with leasing prospects’ wishes — what they want, where they want it and when they want it.

 

5. Voice assistants

Voice assistant devices like Alexa and Google Home are becoming household staples, so residents in multifamily buildings will expect to be able to use the “smart speakers” to adjust music, lighting and temperatures, and even to schedule rent payments or maintenance requests.

 

6. Smart-home technology standards

Smart-home technology can save money on utilities thanks to programmable thermostats, light switches, electrical outlets and roller shades. (The National Apartment Association calls this movement the “Apartment IoT,” or“internet of things.”) This convenience has become a premium to renters, who now say that smart-home features are more important than swimming pools or covered parking.

 

7. Secure keyless solutions

Along the same lines, renters in multifamily properties are increasingly utilizing services such as dog walking and housecleaning, which means more people need access to the apartment. Keyless entry can be an ideal solution, thanks to its combination of convenience and security.

 

8. Texting is essential

Texting has become the preferred method of communication for millennials—nine out of 10 texts are opened within 3 minutes, and only about 1 percent of text messages go unread—so customer relationship management software with texting capabilities and follow-up tracking will maximize your leasing team’s ability to reply to inquiries in the timely manner that’s now expected.

 

9. 24/7 online availability

Your property website needs to serve as an online leasing office—always on, and always responding to a customer’s needs. Most leasing conversations with multifamily-specific chatbots start after 9 p.m., many of those after midnight! The wee hours offer a prime opportunity for conversion, however; while traditional website conversion rates hover between 1 and 2 percent, conversational assistants like ACE lead to a rate between 14 and 38 percent.

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